UNIGE document Scientific Article
previous document  unige:133925  next document
add to browser collection
Title

Paradoxes of universalism: the case of the swiss disability insurance

Authors
Published in Social Inclusion. 2020, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 168
Abstract Social policies rely on specific expectations vis-a-vis their beneficiaries, who have to abide by certain eligibility criteria or behavioral standards to access the benefits or services provided. As such, they draw boundaries between the deserving and undeserving, which results in the following paradox: While social policies claim to be universal, they actually exclude potential beneficiaries by imposing on them the compliance with these eligibility criteria and behavioral standards. In other words, purportedly universal social policies may have exclusionary effects, in the form either of selectivity (street-level bureaucrats select what they perceive as legitimate beneficiaries) or of self-exclusion and non-take-up (people entitled do not claim benefits or services). Based on the case of the Swiss disability insurance, this article explores the extent of, and the reasons underlying, the paradoxes of universalism within active social policies. It relies on a mixed-methods research design, combining sequence analysis (showing the selectivity of active reforms regarding people's access to disability benefits) and in-depth interviews. The conclusion of this article suggests that not all forms of universalism are equally exposed to such paradoxes and proposes a hypothesis to be explored in further research: The more requiring and precise in terms of eligibility criteria and behavioral standards social policies and activation strategies are (hard universalism), the higher the risk that they lead to selective practices in contradiction with their universal ambition. By contrast, fuzzier eligibility or behavioral criteria (soft universalism), which allow for adjustment to individual circumstances, may lead to more genuinely universal and inclusive social policies.
Keywords ActivationCapabilityDisability policiesSelectivitySocial policiesUniversalism
Identifiers
Full text
Structures
Citation
(ISO format)
ROSENSTEIN, Emilie, BONVIN, Jean-Michel. Paradoxes of universalism: the case of the swiss disability insurance. In: Social Inclusion, 2020, vol. 8, n° 1, p. 168. doi: 10.17645/si.v8i1.2499 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:133925

168 hits

63 downloads

Update

Deposited on : 2020-03-31

Export document
Format :
Citation style :